Buyer of hijacked RL.com domain name has spent dearly on legal bills.
In light of recent domain thefts, you might ask yourself what can happen if you happen to buy a stolen domain name. Look no further than the case of John Laxton, who bought the domain name RL.com for $15,000 in 2005.
RL.com was originally registered by Dale Mayberry in 1995. He also owned the domain name mat.net, and used a mat.net email address as the registered contact for both RL.com and Mat.net. The domain name mat.net expired, letting another party register it and use it to get access to the RL.com domain name in a fashion similar to what recently happened with PRFirm.com.
Mayberry later found out what happened, and demanded that Laxton return the domain name he had purchased. By the time this happened, Laxton had already incurred significant legal expenses fighting off an attack under UDRP by Ralph Lauren for the domain name.
In October 2007, Mayberry filed a second amended complaint against Laxton and others involved with the domain name. A district court agreed on two of the counts, and ordered the domain name returned to Mayberry. Laxton appealed, and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed in part that the district court erred (pdf).
One of Mayberry’s lawyers on the case is Charles Carreon, who himself was involved in the high profile case of the theft of Sex.com. The Ninth Circuit court in this decision was also involved in the sex.com case.
So the saga continues. RL.com is currently owned by well-known domainer Richard Lau but held in care of lawyer Carreon’s law firm.
(Hat tip Bret Fausett)